COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Federico Higuain converted a penalty kick for his second goal of the game, lifting the Columbus Crew to a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sunday in the season finale for both teams.
Higuain was taken down by Terry Dunfield in the 62nd minute before scoring his fifth goal. He also scored in the 17th minute.
Both of Higuain’s goals were the results of cutbacks to the left in the penalty area that created space for a shot. On the first, he struck the ball with his left foot to catch goalkeeper Freddy Hall leaning from the right post. He had to dribble around a defender again on the winning play.
“It was a pretty similar play,” said Higuain, who has five goals and seven assists in 13 games since joining the club in August. “I controlled the ball, faked it to shoot, cut it and the defender grabbed me from behind.”
Andrew Wiedeman had Toronto’s goal in the 27th minute. He ran to a long pass from Ryan Johnson and beat goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum.
Toronto was winless (0-10-4) in its final 14 games to finish with a 5-21-8 record and the fewest points in the league.
“We haven’t been blown out of games,” coach Paul Mariner said. “We’re not that far off. It would have been nice for the boys to walk away with something in the game.”
The Crew (15-12-7) finished sixth in the Eastern Conference with 52 points, one behind Houston for the final postseason spot.
“Today was difficult conditions for both teams,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. “I think it was a little bit more difficult game for us because just last week we didn’t qualify for the playoffs. They knew a long time ago.”
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